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Purushottam Laxman Deshpande

[Pu La Deshpande] (8 November 1919 – 12 June 2000 / Gaodevi, Mumbai / India)

Biography of Purushottam Laxman Deshpande

Purushottam Laxman Deshpande poet

Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, popularly known by his initials पु. ल. ("Pu. La.") or as P. L. Deshpande, was a Marathi writer from Maharashtra, India.

Deshpande was also an accomplished film and stage actor, music composer, harmonium player, singer, and orator.

Biography

Purushottam Laxman Deshpande was born on 8 November 1919 in Gaodevi area (Krupal Hemraj Chawl) in Mumbai to Laxman and Lakshmibai Deshpande. He belongs to the Saraswat Brahmin community. His family then moved to Vile Parle before finally Pu La Deshpande settled in Pune for educational and work purposes.

Purushottam received his college education at Fergusson College in Pune and Willingdon College in Sangli.

On 12 June 1946, he married Sunita Thakur, an accomplished writer. They were both school teachers in Orient High School in Mumbai.

For some years, Purushottam worked as a college professor in Belgaum in Northern Karnataka and as a school teacher before embarking on his career in writing, multiple fields of acting, directing, and composing music in the world of movies. As regards his stint as a college professor Deshpande was to write later that his job was to create hatred for Marathi language instead of love for it. This was more an attack on the system of education than on the teaching job itself.

He also worked for Doordarshan - the state owned Indian TV and was deputed to BBC in UK for a year long training after which he spent some time in France and also what was then West Germany. It was this period and stays in these countries that his travelogue "Apurwai" is based upon.

Purushottam took lessons in playing harmonium from Dattopant Rajopadhye of Bhaskar Sangitalaya. He was proficient in Hindustani classical music and was an accomplished music director and singer. Being a proficient writer, he wrote screenplays, lyrics and directed music for several Marathi films.

On 12 June 2000, he died of Parkinson's disease in Pune aged 80.
A big park in Pune city ( the city which he had adopted as home town) has been named after him.

Literary Accomplishments

Deshpande was a prolific writer and produced numerous original works as well as adaptations of works from other languages into Marathi. He preferred to identify his Marathi adaptations of plays and novels in other languages as bhawanuwad (भावानुवाद), meaning "adaptation of the essence". Most of his writings are deeply rooted in Marathi language which some consider as his command over the language while some others consider it as a shortcoming. He is best known for his wit and his detailed observation and ability to put it succinctly. He was awarded a Sahitya Academy award for his book "Vyakti Ani Valli".

Purushottam Laxman Deshpande's Works:

One-act plays
मोठे मासे आणि छोटे मासे - 1957
विठ्ठल तो आला आला - 1961
आम्ही लटिके ना बोलू - 1975

Plays
तुका म्हणे आता (Tuka Mhane Ata) – 1948
पुढारी पाहिजॆ (Pudhari Pahije) – 1951
अंमलदार (Ammaldar) – 1952...based on Nikolai Gogol's Inspector General
भाग्यवान (Bhagyawan) – 1953
तुझें आहे तुजपाशीं (Tujhe Ahe Tujapashi) – 1957
सुंदर मी होणार (Sundar Mi Honar) – 1958
पहिला राजा/आधे अधूरे (Pahila Raja/adhe Adhure) – 1976...based on Jagadish Chandra Mathur's Adhe Adhure
तीन पैशांचा तमाशा (Teen Paishancha Tamasha) – 1978...based on Bertolt Brecht's The Three Penny Opera' on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion
एक झुंज वार्‍याशी (Eka Jhunja Waryashi)

Children's plays
वयं मोठं खोटं (Wayam Motham Khotam) – 1956
नवे गोकुळ (Nawe Gokul) – 1958
खोगीरभरती (Khogir Bharati) – 1949
खिल्ली (Khilli)
कोट्याधीश पु. ल. (Kotyadhish Pu La.)
टेलिफोनचा जन्म (Teliphonacha Janma)
पोरवय (Porawaya)

Comedy Books
नस्ती उठाठेव (Nasti Uthathewa) - 1952
बटाट्याची चाळ (Batatayachi Chal) – 1958
गोळाबेरीज (Golaberij) – 1960
असा मी असामी (Asa Mi Asami) – 1964
ह(फ)सवणूक (Ha(pha)sawanuk) – 1968
उरलं सुरलं
पुरचुंडी
वटवट वटवट
मराठी वाङ्मयाचा (गाळीव) इतिहास (Marathi Wangmayacha Galeev Itihas)

Travelogue
वंगचित्रे - 1974
अपूर्वाई - 1960
पूर्वरंग-1963
जावे त्यांच्या देशा - 1974

Novels
काय वाट्टेल ते होईल (Kay Wattel Te Hoeel) – 1962...based on Helen and George Papashvily's Anything Can Happen
एका कोळीयाने (Eka Koliyane) – 1965...based on Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea
कान्होजी आंग्रे (Kanhoji Angre)(Translation of English novel "Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre" by Manohar Malgoankar)

Biography
गांधीजी (Gandhiji) – 1970

Letters
मुक्काम शांतिनिकेतन

Collections of life sketches
गणगोत (Ganagot) – 1966
व्यक्ती आणि वल्ली (Wyakti Ani Walli) – 1966
गुण गाईन आवडी (Guna Gaeena Awadi) – 1975
रवीन्द्रनाथ : तीन व्याख्याने (Ravindranath : Teen Wyakhyane)
आपुलकी (Apulaki)
मैत्र (Maitra)

Other works
एक शून्य मी (Ek Shunya Mee)
चित्रमय स्वगत (Chitramay Swagat)
पु. ल : एक साठवण (Pu. La. : Ek Sathawan)
दाद (Daad)
मुक्काम शांतीनिकेतन (Mukkam Shantiniketan)
द्विदल (Dwidal)
चार शब्द (Char Shabd)
अघळ पघळ (Aghal Paghal)
पुढारी पाहिजे (Pudhari Pahije)

Humorous essays
चितळे मास्तर (Chitale Master)
एका रविवारची कहाणी (Eka Rawiwarchi Kahani)
माझे शहरी जीवन (Maze Shahari Jeevan)
बिगरी ते मॅट्रिक (Bigari Te Matric)
हरी तात्या (Hari Tatya)
मुंबईकर, पुणेकर का नागपूरकर? (Mumbaikar, Punekar Ka Nagpurkar?)
म्हैस (Mhais)
मी आणि माझा शत्रुपक्ष (Mi Ani Majha Shatrupaksha)
पाळीव प्राणी (Paliv Prani)
पानवाला (Panwala)
काही नवे ग्रहयोग (Kahi Nave Grahayog)
माझे पोष्टिक जीवन (Majhe Poshtik Jeewan)
पेस्तन काका (Pestan Kaka)
रावसाहेब (Raosaheb)
सखाराम गटणे (Sakharam Gatane)
नामू परीट (Namu Parit)
उरलासुरला (Urala Surala)
नारायण (Narayan)
अंतू बर्वा (Antu Barva)
भय्या नागपूरकर (Bhayya Nagpurkar)
नाथा कामत (Natha Kamat)
तो (To)
चिंटू

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